Personal trainer Danielle Dubeau has made it her mission in life to help women be healthier, regain strength after pregnancy, and just feel better in their daily lives.
Two years ago, she founded StrongMom, a strength and wellness coaching service in Thunder Bay offering one-on-one and small group training and consulting sessions. As an in-person business, Danielle found herself blind-sided by the pandemic and Ontario’s first lockdown. StrongMom didn’t qualify for most government support programs. With young children at home, she was reluctant to return to work in-person when the lockdown ended in Spring 2020.
Danielle realized she had to restructure StrongMom as an online business, but she didn’t have much experience with digital technology. In the fall of 2020, she turned to Digital Main Street (DMS), for the grant funding and professional counsel to create, literally from scratch, an online presence with e-commerce capability. This included creating pre-recorded video material which mothers could access online on-demand, as well as booking for virtual sessions delivered in real-time.
Today, StrongMom is a growing online business.
“New life has been breathed into my business and it would NOT have happened without DMS,” Danielle said. “I have realized that having, not only an online presence, but also offering services digitally, is paramount to small business survival these days. Thanks to my DMS grant, I was able to begin building a website and develop an online program, all set to go live in a few weeks.”
The Digital Main Street program has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants